Topic | OT: bibles for children

This topic contains 10 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  artcmomto3 3 years ago.

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  • Katrina in AK

    I would like to get a new Bible for my ds6 for Christmas. We’ve had several story Bibles over the years, and I would like to get him a “real” Bible of his own.

    I was poking around on and saw the NIV Adventure Bible, and the ESV Seek & Find Bible. Both looked interesting, but I am open to others, too.

    What do your children have? Likes, dislikes?




    My ds8 has the ESV seek and find. It’s wonderful, a combination of the full Bible text and bible stories with pictures. Our family prefers the more literal translation of the ESV over the Niv.


    My dd6 (almost 7) has the ESV Seek and Find Bible….she loves it. The illustrations are very nicely done, and she likes that it has “Bible stories” right in the same book with the full Bible text. My ds4 keeps eyeing it too, and asking when he can have a “big Bible” like his sister’s! He’s actually becoming very motivated to learn how to read since he wants a Bible of his own so badly!

    HTH some,



    My children also enjoy the ESV Seek and Find. They each have their own copy.


    Mine simply use the King James Version – Everyone over 3 has one.


    This is simply my opinion, but perhaps seeing my family’s reasoning will help others to think through their own. I know there are many who prefer KJV and some who still believe its the only true Bible. I’m not trying to debate that with anyone as much as share why my family does not use KJV and does not believe it to be the only translation. If you love it for your family, great. I’m not trying to change your mind. Tristan, I’m not knocking your family’s choice here, but I’ve run into a few people lately interested in CM who have felt the KJV is necessary yet burdensome and makes the Word a chore. That’s why I’m sharing.

    Translation is a personal preference, of course, but it has always made more sense to us to have our kids read and learn from the Word in their heart language. KJV, while lovely, is not in their heart language and IMHO can be a stumbling block. I love old language in literature and my kids do as well, but for God’s word, I want it as literal as possible while it the everyday language of our home. Long ago missionaries would teach foreigners in the KJV thus requiring them to learn a new language before they could grasp God’s word. This is no longer the case as it is seen as folly. Rather mission agencies like SIL and Wycliffe work hard trying to translate God’s word into the heart languages of foreign peoples. Why would we not do the same? I want my kids to view God and their relationship to him as a part of their everyday life which includes the language we actually speak.

    I know there are those who also feel KJV opens up other older literature. Our family tackles older literature fairly well without KJV. I don’t see this as a valid reason for my family. We have many translations sitting on our shelf, but we enjoy ESV best for these reasons.





    No worries from me! I think that any Bible version is miles better than no Bible reading at all!! We have two children readers with simplified language of the Bible (one is Old Testament stories, the other is New Testament stories). It’s actually what my 6 and 7 year olds are using for their phonics/reading independently practice.

    We also use KJV here.  But go with what works best for your family.  One suggestion I do have is The Child Training Bible.  

    We bought these kits recently and put them together for each of our boys.  They love them!  As do I and my husband. Truly I can see this being a wonderful help for my boys (and us as parents) for years to come.  I only wish it had been around a few years ago.  My older son is picking a different topic each week to study during his devotion time, and a verse that speaks to him to memorize.  

    Also they have a special just tonight.. if you order one CTB, your second one is free!




    Kate Mom of 1

    Our church uses mostly NIV and ESV, so that’s what we use/have at home.  My DD (she’s 8) has her own ESV, but I grew up with the KJV, got a copy as a wedding gift, and use both KJV and ESV in my own study. :) I agree with Christie about the “Heart Language” and making God’s word as accessible as possible :)


    2 thoughts:

    1) I’m homeschooling 5 children (9-13) in age. Each person has a copy of the NIV, so that’s what we read from when we’re working together. You may be aware that NIV came out with a newer version over a year ago. I had heard good things about this version; however, my recent experience has caused me to completely rethink any new Bible purchases. The 9 year old has a new version and when we’re reading aloud there are clear differences that I’m not a fan of. Truthfully, I don’t know what the purpose was but it is clearly more gender neutral. This might seem like a minor thing but it is gender neautral in situations where the gender should be quite clear. Unfortunately, I haven’t made notes as we’ve gone through it, there have just been many times where I was taken aback by things in the new version .

    My 11 year old has about worn his Bible out (The NIV Adventure Bible) because he’s had it for well over 5 years. As I thought today about getting him a new Bible, I felt quite strongly that it would not be a new edition of the NIV. Those are just my thoughts from my recent experience.

    2) As I said, we read aloud from the NIV but I wanted to comment on the KJV portion of the conversation. In order to make the children more comfortable with it and to give them plenty of exposure, after we read aloud together from the NIV, I read the same section to them from the KJV. With 2 of them being dyslexic and 2 more of them not being great oral readers, I find that me reading it is the best option. 
    When we are preparing to memorize a new scripture, we look at many translations. We look for the one that most clearly states the original message but that the children can understand. Sometimes it happens that we learn more than one version. One version might speak more to one child or they may have learned it somewhere else previously. I think it also teaches them to compare translations when they hear something from someone else. They may hear a new translation and I don’t want them to just assume that it’s right because someone said it’s from the Bible. I want them to know that they can compare that translation with others to look for consistency and accuracy. They do know the history of the KJV and that it is a “go to” book to check against.

    I just thought I’d share in case it helps somebody. :)


    We just bought our soon-to-be 8 y/o the ESV Seek & Find Bible when she was baptized Sunday.  She absolutely LOVES it!  Our pastor preaches from the NASB, and while I would have loved for her to have a Bible in the same translation so she can follow along with our pastor, I was unable to find one that had a nice sized font and looked girly enough for her taste.  ESV is a word for word translation like the NASB and KJV/NKJV, but it is uses simpler words in some circumstances which makes it easier for her to read on her own and understand.  I read on a blog that the NASB is on an 11th grade reading level while ESV is on an 8th grade reading level.  DD loves the pictures and the Bible stories that are inserted along with the text to help the child understand it.  Come to find out, other children at our church have the same Bible, so I am glad I had her name added to the cover.

    BTW, while asking my friends about Bibles, one friend mentioned avoiding the newer versions of the NIV b/c it is more gender neutral.  If you go with NIV make sure it is 1984 (I think) or before.

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